Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Our Theology is Tested During Storms

Leslie Basham: What comes to mind when you hear the word "theology?" Is it just an irrelevant topic that stuffy seminarians debate? It's Friday, October 25. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss.

We're in the middle of a series called, "Storm Shelter: Finding Safety and Strength in God's Arms." Today Nancy will show us how our theology is tested during the storms of life, and she'll explain why theology is important. To start our program, we're going to hear from one of the women who's been listening to this series along with us. She's going to tell us about some storm clouds that affected her life.

Diana: I suffered with depression from age nine until age 42. My first suicidal thought was at age nine. It was a long journey. I was high-functioning because you have moments of joy and happiness, and you function in the world. But still inside is this, it's a self-loathing that is almost indescribable. It's the darkest place in the world to be. You can say that you know Christ loves you, but you really don't believe it. And yet you love the Lord. And it's the most confusing place in the world to be.

I was at a place where I had even told my husband that I would gladly divorce him and allow him to have the children because I felt like he would be a much better parent than I would because they didn't deserve this.

And he said, "No, I'm committed to this marriage." He knew that I was just in this deep, deep, dark, dark place. I just wanted to retreat. And it was through the course Search for Significance, it was like busting out of being inside of a black bowling ball that I broke out of. It's never returned. It's been gone forever, and I praise the Lord for that.

Nancy DeMoss:

Diana: I have never understood words like justification, sanctification--those were words that had never made sense to me. I had this upside-down picture of God that He had the club ready to hit me on top of the head. Even though He had forgiven me for my sins, the fact that I could still sin as a Christian; I mean, things like, you know, just pride or envy or coveting, you know what I'm saying? Just those day-to-day things that He could still continue to forgive me, I couldn't get that concept down at all.

There were some major doctrinal concepts that that course brought home to me. And it makes you go way back to the most painful, painful, painful, painful, painful part of your life, whether that be in childhood or wherever--to where you maybe, I guess, maybe felt the lowest in your life. It's somewhere about week five that you really just fall into about a million pieces. Then from that week, from that week, you start putting one piece back together--but by the end of it, you bust out of it.

Nancy DeMoss:

You say, "What difference does doctrine make in my life?" People aren't that interested in hearing about doctrine today. I'll tell you this: doctrine makes all the difference in your life because it's what you believe about God, your theology.

You may not think you're interested in theology. You have a theology. You have a good theology or a bad theology, a biblical theology or a non-biblical theology. Theology is just what you believe about God. And what you believe about God affects every area of your life.

If you have a flawed view of God, you'll see everything else in life through a flawed lens. Everything else will be distorted. So it all goes back to your view of God, doesn't it?

What kind of god do you have? Is it a god that you've made in your own image or in the image of someone else that you've known? A god you've constructed? God has, the Bible has a word for that kind of god. It's an idol.

And virtually every problem and issue in my life comes back to idolatry in one way or another, that I've been worshipping a god with a lower-case "g." That god may be myself. It may be a view of God that is not a biblical view of God, but when I don't worship the true and living God as He's revealed Himself in the Scripture, as He's revealed Himself through Christ, then I'm going to falsely accuse God. I'm going to make choices with my life that are wrong responses to pressure and to circumstances.

You see, there are circumstances in our lives over which we have no control. You didn't decide what home to be born into. You didn't know when you married that husband that he was going to be a depressed man. You had no control over perhaps some health issues. There are things we can't control. And God doesn't hold us accountable for those.

But when we have the right theology, the right view of God, when we see a God who is El Elyon, God Most High, the Creator and Possessor of Heaven and earth--a God who is a God of checed, covenant love, and mercy and faithfulness--a God who incarnated Himself in the person of Christ, took on flesh and took our sin upon Himself, a God who gave His life for our sin--these issues of justification and sanctification. Don't tell me you're not interested in those topics, because if you're not, I can tell you why you've got some of the problems you do. Romans, chapters 1 through 6, 7,8,9,10,11; it's theology, it's doctrine.

So how can we be free from sin, based on what we know about God and His ways and His salvation? Based on the doctrine, based on the theology, how can we walk in newness of life? How can we live in the power of the Spirit? Why does that matter? How does it affect my life today?

Ephesians, chapters 1 though 3; it's the knowledge of God and the knowledge of His ways and the knowledge of the Gospel. Chapters 4 through 6; here's how that affects your marriage, here's how that affects your worship, here's how that affects the way you do church, here's how that affects the way you parent, here's how that affects the way you do your job. It's all based in theology.

So as we have these issues and these struggles in life, and they have different names and different descriptions, they look different at different seasons of life--but we have to keep going back to What is my view of God? Is my doctrine biblical? Is my life rooted in the truth? "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

He sent His Word. Who's the Word? Jesus. And He healed them! All the healing that Jesus did here on earth, the physical healing, was wonderful, it was impressive, it drew crowds. But it was an earthly picture of a heavenly reality that's intended to be true for every one of us. And that is that we can live in Christ as whole people.

We may have been damaged in our past. We may be living in damaging or dangerous or hurtful circumstances right now. But in Christ, we are whole. We don't have to be dependant upon human counselors and medications and things to get us up and things to put us down in terms of narcotics and drugs. The sufficiency of Christ is an incredible truth of God's Word. He sent His Word, Christ, and healed them.

Someone who's been coming to these sessions, she's not in here right now, but she shared with me some of how God has been walking her through a many year process of dealing with this issue of depression. And for years she lived in dependence upon the world's prescriptions, the world's alternatives, the world's programs.

But she came to discover that, in her case, the depression has been, though very real, has been the fruit of wrong theology--of a wrong view of God or an inadequate view of God. And as her theology, her doctrine, her view of God, her understanding of the Gospel has grown, she's found that she didn't have to be dependant upon the world's crutches, that she's been set free.

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss will be right back to pray for that kind of freedom for all of us.

Has your view of God, your theology, been challenged by today's program? Would you write us a note and tell us about it? It encourages us to hear how God is using Revive Our Hearts in the lives of women.

When you write, why don't you ask for what we're calling The Survival Packet. It will introduce you to Ronald Dunn. He went into depression after his son was killed at the age of 18. Read how God proved to be a shelter during this storm in the book When Heaven is Silent.

The Survival Packet also includes a taped interview with Rick and Judy Taylor. Hear how God proved Himself faithful after they lost a child in an accident. The Survival Packet also includes a worship CD that will help keep your thoughts on God, no matter what your circumstance. You can get the CD, cassettes and book in The Survival Packet for a suggested donation of $35. Just go to our Web site at ReviveOurHearts.com.

You know, we think of worship as singing, nice and comfortable in church. Did you realize that a storm offers you an excellent opportunity to worship God? We'll hear about that on Monday. Now to lead us in prayer, here's Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss: Lord, I do lift up these women. And I don't know what storms, waves, tumults are facing individual women who are sitting in this room today. I don't know what issue they may be facing with a mate, with a child, with a parent, with a loss, with financial need, with an issue at work--but you know, Lord. And thank You that You shape those winds. You're the One who determines the extent and the intensity and the timing; not one of those winds or waves can come into our lives without Your permission.

And so, Lord, I pray for each of these women in whatever season of life, particularly for those who may be facing some northern winds right now. Oh, God, would You give grace? Thank You! And we say together thank You that Your grace is sufficient for every woman in this room, at every moment, every season of life, every situation, there is no place where we are so weak that Your grace is not greater.

Lord, in our response to the storms and to the sufferings and to the trials, may we cause Heaven to applaud as they see that we love You and we worship You, not because of Your gifts--but because You are God. Lord, help. Help us to trust when we cannot see, to sing and to pray even when our eyes are filled with tears. And through all of it, may You be glorified. That's what it's all about, and that's all that matters. It doesn't matter that we survive the storm, but it does matter that You are exalted. We pray it for Jesus' sake, Amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

It wasn't actually the Search for Significance course itself that is what made the difference in Diana's life. It's the Truth. The Truth of God's Word that she saw through that course. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32) And the other verse that comes to mind that I think Diana is illustrating is from the Psalms where it says, "He sent his word and healed them" (Psalm 107:20).
Diana, could you just share with us the Search for Significance course? Some people may not be familiar with that. Was there any particular thing about that course or something from the Word of God that you saw through that course that God used as an instrument to help set you free?

 

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